There was so many good things in our new eBook, Being Strong in the Wait, that we just couldn't put it all in the same book. Here is some great practical advice from Austin on how to prepare for your foster/adoptive children during both pre- and post-placement waits.
On the practical side, one thing that I have done that has made everything more tidy, organized, and all in one place is purchased the following:
- a 3-ring binder (probably 2-3 inches depending on how many foster children you have)
- dividers with pockets
- sticky notes
- blue and black pens
- a hole punch
- a composition notebook
- Binder: You are going to want to keep overeating in one binder. It makes it easier to throw the binder in a bag for doctors visits, court hearings, review meetings, etc. Keep it all in one place.
- Dividers: Color coordinate them according to child, that way every child has a specific colored divider and each child’s personal paperwork stays separated in your notebook.
- Sticky Notes: You will need to be able to write quick notes when on the phone or in meetings and stick them in the child’s section and then go back later and document in detail what you wick wrote on the sticky notes.
- Blue and Black Pens: Most mileage forms and other specific forms for your agency will require you to ONLY write in blue or ONLY write in black. Make sure that you ask if their office has a required color when filling out paperwork. I learned this the hard way, so you are welcome.
- Composition Book and Pencils: The composition book is for logging your mileage. I have a page a month and when that month is over I move on to the next page. Also, fill out your mileage in your composition book in pencil because usually you will have to erase and start over. It just keeps it all neat and prevents a lot scratches all throughout mileage on your pages.
- Hole Punch: You will get tons of information in the mail and given to you during meetings, etc. None of these pages will come with holes and in order to put them in your binder immediately to prevent loosing them or your dog from eating them, you will need a hole punch right then and there.
You've never seen paperwork like foster care paperwork, so we hope this helps you stay organized (and busy!) when it seems like all you're doing is waiting on someone or something.